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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Postal Service Employees Protest Proposed Cuts

Daniella Segura |
March 24, 2013 | 8:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Protestors in Hollywood (Daniella Segura / Neon Tommy)
Protestors in Hollywood (Daniella Segura / Neon Tommy)
About 1,500 United States Postal Service employees and supporters gathered Sunday at the Hollywood post office to protest the Postmaster General’s proposal to cut mail delivery to five days a week, event coordinators said.

The rally was part of a national day of action that was meant to oppose planned cutbacks proposed by the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe last month. Some of the proposed cuts include ending Saturday mail delivery, as well as closing postal stations and facilities and the sale of operating post offices.

Congressional legal advisers have said the post office's proposal is illegal, but the situation is fluid.

Larry Brown, who is a chair on the National Association of Letter Carriers National Board of Trustees, spoke to the crowd before they began their walk around Hollywood and emphasized the importance of Congress maintaining six-day delivery.

“It was an act of Congress that got us into this fix,” Brown said, pausing. “It takes an act of Congress to get us out of this fix.”

Protestors, including groups of families, walked the streets of Hollywood chanting, “Five days? No way!” and wore navy blue shirts that read, “Don’t dismantle the postal service.” As protestors walked, passing cars honked to show their support and a bicyclist even blew his whistle to cheer on protestors.

Protestors said one of the reasons they decided to turn out Sunday was the potential loss of jobs.

Johnny Harris, the site leader for the rally in L.A., said 40,000 to 60,000 people could lose their jobs if the postal service switches to a five-day work week.

“I have a nephew who works for the post office and based on seniority he could lose his job,” Harris said. “Because once they start downsizing, they are going to start to cut based on seniority.”

Employees said the rally was about more than just protesting the proposed five-day work week. They said they wanted to implore Congress to act to better serve the American public.

Jessica Kamae, a letter carrier in Riverside, said customers have expressed their concerns about shifting to a five-day work week.

“Just yesterday a young lady walked up to me and asked are we still gonna deliver for six days, because she gets her paycheck in the mail on Saturdays,” Kamae said. “I assured her yes we are.”

Chris Jackson, a national business agent at NALC, said the proposal for a five-day work week affects not only postal employees.

“The postal service is just like apple pie or baseball to the American people,” Jackson said. “This will not just affect me. It will affect everybody.”

Congress passed a continuing resolution on March 6, 2013, which allows six-day delivery until the end of the postal fiscal year that ends in September. Congress and the Postal Service are currently discussing the fate of six-day delivery.

Reach reporter Daniella Segura here and follow her on Twitter here.


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Luciano (not verified) on March 29, 2013 2:52 PM

Let's face it the USPS is facing a lot of competition and they're growing while the USPS is continually losing ground, to keep things as they are means that they will continue to lose more and more ground until their operation becomes irrelevant and more and more workers will lose their jobs. I remember layoffs and after asking some of my so called union brothers who also worked piece work that is they lowered ten % or more they would keep more workers from being laid off, they said no way and to boot some of them increased their production facilitating more lay offs. Technology and more competition are eating at your heals, back then in the 80's I would have been happy with a 40 hours work week. We tightened our belts and managed to survive without losing our home and also avoided having to take a second loan while some of those who were making the big bucks lost their homes and many of those families fell apart. Another benefit of belt tightening when work picked up again any extra earnings went to lowering the principal amount we owed enabling us to payoff our loan before 15 years of the 25 years of the life of the loan. We said no to many frills and other things that satisfy the ego that really does nothing to strengthen the family or keep a roof over their heads. It can be done ad so can you. One thing that I learned when meditating on the Crucifix is that love is sacrificial willing to go out of myself for the good of my family.

Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2013 9:40 PM

Most postal revenue comes from first-class mail; junk mail brings little, if any, profit to USPS and is required at the behest of advertisers whose contributions support legislators' election campaigns. These companies comprise a consortium that is trying to close retail post offices in order to lower their costs even more, because they feel that secure, affordable mail delivery for all Americans cuts into their already-cut-rate commercial postage costs.

This us a fight between equal access to information and private commercial pressures to perform.

With the campaign finance system as it is, the only way to keep USPS on the road serving its Constitutional mission is with popular pressure on Congress to do its job - represent the hundreds of millions of Americans whose postal service should be robust, responsive and affordable. Write your Congresspersons today: Direct them to reverse the onerous 2006 PAIA pre-funding, continue retaining Saturday delivery, stop bailing out private advertisers, stop closing and selling rural and urban post offices, stop effectively donating the public art within historic post offices to private parties and allow USPS to provide equal communication access as intended by our country's Founders - including internet at post offices, return to competitive premium service pricing and a host of innovations that USPS is more than eager to provide in service of its mandate to serve all Americans.

คาสิโนออนไลน์ (not verified) on March 8, 2014 4:30 AM

Very energetic blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

Anonymous (not verified) on March 24, 2013 9:06 PM

Really? Cut it down to three days a week and save even more. I can do without the junk mail.

Anonymous (not verified) on March 26, 2013 12:16 AM

It amazes me that someone would rather possibly see many jobs in the paper industry and the printing industry suffer not to mention all the business that benefit from those adds in addition to the thousands of jobs lost in the USPS just because its to much trouble to throw some “junk mail” away if they choose to not want it. Maybe with less “junk mail” to throw away we could cut back on trash pickups and do away with some more jobs.